A Renewed Declaration of Independence

As usual, American flags were flying in cities and towns all across the country on July 4th -- but this year not all of them were the traditional "Stars and Stripes" that symbolize our nation's independence and America's historic commitment to "liberty and justice for all."

Instead, in more than 200 places -- from Alabaster, Alabama, to Mount Vernon, Washington -- "Corporate America" flags were unfurled, starkly posing the question of whether we really are an independent people ... or a people who've been rendered subserviant to global corporate power. This "Corporate America" flag still was Red, White and Blue, but in place of the 50 stars in the corner of Old Glory, the logos of MacDonald's, IBM, GE, Nike, CBS, Texaco, and other giants shone forth in all their garish glory.

In the spirit of America's first official flag -- the revolutionary "Don't Tread On Me" banner -- these rebellious flags implored citizens to "Declare independence from corporate rule." They were raised in protest against the corporatization of our health care system, schools, media, environment, food, politics, government and every other aspect of society. Some hoisted the provocative flags in front of such chains as Starbucks and Wal-Mart, some draped them from highway overpasses, and some carried them in July 4th parades. The biggest was in New York City, where the Corporate-Spangled Banner appeared on a 600 square foot billboard near Times Square. In Colorado one fed-up citizen painted it on the side of his house, and in Kansas the corporate flag was burned.

This is Jim Hightower saying ... While politicians who're owned by some of these very corporations gave pious July 4th speeches about America's revolutionary ideals, these patriots were putting those ideals into action. To know more about this growing assertion of grassroots independence from our modern-day corporate autocrats, contact a watchdog group called Adbusters: 607-736-9401.

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